Within the last year, close to a dozen companies have launched creatine gummies for on-the-go convenience packaged in bright blues, reds, oranges and yellows. All point to no hassle and better taste, texture and absorption as upgrades to the established powders, capsules and chews.
“The recent uptick in consumer appreciation and acceptance are paralleled with industry trends surrounding innovation and convenience,” said Dylan Menter, who launched Bear Balanced in early 2022 as the “World’s First Creatine Gummy” and recently announced expansion into Bristol Farms and Kroger as the “first creatine gummy to break into retail”.
Others that have stepped into the nascent category include Alafia, Create Wellness, Elm and Rye, Aesthetic Sports, Perpetua Life, Bizi, Creatina, duwhot, Icon Muscle, Wellboost Nutrition, Swoly and Vireo Systems.
Formulating for efficacy without the pain points
The new gummy format seeks to address the pain points of traditional creatine supplements like stomach upset, water retention, unpleasant taste and gritty mouthfeel.
Swoly – which launched its pure micronized creatine monohydrate gummies over a year ago with the tagline: “Finally, creatine that doesn’t suck” – described the development process as both challenging and rewarding. This process included 10 months in the lab fine-tuning the formula to strike the right balance between taste and efficacy.
“We hated the grainy, sandy texture of traditional creatine supplements and wanted to change that experience with a product that was truly great,” the company shared. “Something that tastes great, looks great, and has a great texture, not just a product that's ‘pretty good for creatine’.”
Swoly, like the other brands consulted, said that its gummies are designed to be as effective as traditional creatine monohydrate powder but are formulated for easier digestion and absorption. Gummies currently on the market are provided in doses ranging from 1 g per two-gummy serving to 4 g per five-gummy serving.
This month, Vireo Systems announced the launch of its CON-CRĒT gummies online and into Walmart, CVS and Hyvee “to make the benefits of creatine as enjoyable and accessible to as many people as possible.” It sets itself apart by formulating with creatine hydrochloride instead of the more often used creatine monohydrate.
“CON-CRĒT Gummies use the most advanced form of creatine known as Creatine HCl (creatine hydrochloride), which offers unmatched absorption – seven times greater concentration than creatine monohydrate and 59 times higher solubility,” said Mark Faulkner, founder and president of Vireo Systems. “This heightened absorption allows for the use of smaller doses to achieve impressive results.”
Others like Bear Balanced have chosen to mix in other ingredients with its Creapure branded creatine monohydrate, adding L-theanine, L-tyrosine, B-12, Huperzine A and blue spirulina for added functional benefits like muscle function, energy, memory, focus, endurance, mood and recovery.
Consumers pumped on creatine beyond the gym
The convenience and palatability of the new format coupled with growing consumer knowledge about expanded creatine benefits may also drive a broader audience into the creatine market.
A longtime favorite of athletes to enhance exercise performance, increase lean muscle mass and improve exercise capacity, creatine is gaining popularity for its potential to optimize cell performance in other parts of the body.
“Creatine is coming to be understood as one of the most important supplements people can take for overall health, extending beyond just muscle health benefits that athletes have long known,” Faulkner said. “It’s gaining recognition for its positive impact on brain health, immune strength, heart health, and even sexual wellness.”
According to SPINS retail data, creatine sales are up 114% from $23 million last year to $50 million for the 12 months ending Aug. 14. The market research firm does not yet have data on the emerging creatine gummy format, but powders still make up the bulk of sales, followed by caplets, capsules and chewable tablets. Creatine also made an appearance at the top of The Vitamin Shoppe’s health and wellness trends this year, a ranking the retailer attributes to the ingredient's fresh found popularity on social media and with a large base of new fans and users.